The Dallas Cowboys made a bold move when they released veteran right tackle La’el Collins this offseason, leaving a hole in the depth chart with the expected elevation of Terence Steele to starter. The team sort of addressed this position once already when they picked Tulsa tackle Tyler Smith with the 24th overall pick; however, many are projecting Smith to move inside and play guard, at least to start his career. The Cowboys opted to double-dip on the offensive line by selecting North Dakota tackle Matt Waletzko with their first of four fifth-round picks (155th overall).
Waletzko hit the ground running at North Dakota, immediately starting at left tackle. He started all four of his years in college. His presence along the offensive line helped his team allow the third-fewest sacks in the FCS last season. At 6’7” he brings a long frame to the edge that includes 36 1/8 arms and a wingspan of 85 5/8 inches. Waletzko moves well for a guy his size and has shown the ability to easily get to the second level. He shows good handwork to thwart off defenders. Waletzko is a smart player, which shows by his ability to step in as a freshman and start.
For a guy as big as he is, Waletzko isn’t super strong. He can turn into a leaner at times causing his balance to suffer. He also struggles to pick up on things around him and can be a little late feeling the pressure. While he has plenty of experience on the left side, he doesn’t offer any position flexible and has never played right tackle. He missed six games in 2019 with a knee injury and one game last year with a shoulder injury.
The Cowboys have Terence Steele as their new right tackle, and we still don’t know what to expect from Josh Ball. With Tyron Smith always battling injuries, adding a depth piece like Waletzo would help this offensive line.
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